Back to basics about psychosocial factors and pain – iii

Last week I discussed some of the areas in the brain, and basic principles, that are currently thought to influence our pain experience. This week I thought I’d introduce one of my favourite ways of considering pain mechanisms, mainly because it helps me think through the four main kinds of mechanisms, and can influence our treatment approach. At this stage I want to raise my hand to acknowledge the following: My gratitude to Dr John Alchin, longtime friend and colleague, who first pointed this paper out to me and has shared it with hundreds of people who go to see him at the local tertiary pain management centre. We know this is a simplified, under-developed approach to mechanisms underpinning pain, but it’s helpful nevertheless. Most of our patients will have a combination of mechanisms involved in their experience, not just one. This approach to mechanisms doesn’t include the psychological or social – just the primary biological processes. Throughout this blog, when I use the word “pain” I mean the experience we have once whatever mechanisms involved filter up through to our awareness. So while I talk about peripheral mechanisms, they’re only experienced as pain once we become aware of them – and that process involves a whole lot of what I discussed in my last post . Clifford Woolf wrote this paper in 2010, and although the research into mechanisms has continued unabated, I think it provides clinicians with a reasonable gui...
Source: HealthSkills Weblog - Category: Anesthesiology Authors: Tags: Education Pain Pain conditions Research Science in practice biopsychosocial Chronic pain Health pain management Source Type: blogs

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